Posted inArts & Culture

The Pain of the Macho

Alejandro the macho busboy still dreams of the night he was seduced by one of his customers, an Anglo performance artist. “We in the food service industry have a saying: Never sexually get involved with your clients,” he asserts. “Leave that to trained psychiatric professionals.” But Alejandro couldn’t resist: “She was so beautiful. And so […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hackberry Ramblers

Before there was country and western, before there was western swing or even bluegrass, there was music like the Hackberry Ramblers play: rooted in the primitive model harmonies the French Canadians brought to Louisiana over a century ago, eerily joyful and laced with backwoods imagery, as danceable as any music ever to emanate from North […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Stage Fights

“The first thing to remember is to keep your correct distance,” Ned Mochel tells me. I face Scott Cummins and extend my right arm to a point near the center of his sternum. “The second thing is to maintain eye contact so that he knows when you’re going to start the hit.” Looking Cummins square […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hot Mikado

HOT MIKADO Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre Lyricist William Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan had just about reached the end of their relationship, the story goes, when they wrote their biggest hit, in 1885. The temperamental team, whose comic operettas had delighted English audiences for a decade, had reached a creative stalemate; Sullivan had rejected Gilbert’s most […]

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Kenny Drew Jr. Trio

The post-Marsalis era didn’t introduce the idea of second-generation jazzmen; it just seems that way, thanks to the current proliferation of talented offspring. But pianist Kenny Drew Jr.–whose piano-playing father lent his silky touch and uncluttered thinking to John Coltrane’s legendary Blue Train album–stands above most of the pack, for several reasons. These include issues […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Is Lakeview big enough for two community organizations?

Last month at a meeting of about 500 neighborhood residents, the Lakeview Action Coalition made its grand debut. Introducing themselves as Lakeview’s first-ever union of banks, churches, businesses, and other local institutions, the coalition’s leaders vowed to tackle three of the most daunting urban problems of the day: housing, crime, and education. Amid the hopeful […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

Bill James, a longtime source of information for this column, sometimes refers to what he calls athletic intelligence. Like any form of intelligence, it is the ability to process information, only with the added physical dimension of sport. Exceptional athletic intelligence is what separates Frank Thomas from other young sluggers and Greg Maddux from pitchers […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Funky Wordsmyths

The Funky Wordsmyths, those troubadours of trouble and triumph, have changed their lineup. Gone are the drummers and the pop-style rapper, and in their place is tenor saxophonist Nate Williams, whose wailings can make you weep or dance or laugh or just stop and take another look in the mirror. Still fronting the Afro-centric poetry […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story In May the Howard Johnson Plaza-Suite Hotel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, temporary home of state representative David Armstrong of New Orleans while the legislature is in session, banned him from the premises to protect its female employees from sexual harassment. Hotel manager Rick Smith said he had stopped allowing housekeeping employees to go […]

Posted inMusic

Hitsville’s Chicago Alternative-Rock Tipsheet, Summer ’93 Edition

ELEVENTH DREAM DAY Background: Dual-guitar, Crazy Horse-y alternative vets. Buzz: Perhaps fading; moderate base of critical support not appreciably expanding. Goods: Dependable guitar-meistering and evolving songwriting on third Atlantic album, El Moodio. Sales: Sketchy; El Moodio a minor college hit but failed to chart on Billboard’s Top 200. GREEN Background: Pop-soul-rock combo fronted by difficult, […]

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Pleasure Seekers

On a sweltering afternoon a middle-aged woman in cutoffs and braids rushes into the store on the corner of 85th and Cottage Grove. Reggae streams from two midsize speakers, and the yellow awning reads: the African Hedonist CDs and Tapes. She glances around and approaches the owner. “What’s an African hedonist?” she says. “I thought […]